Slack is about to go public: e‑discovery will never be the same

We’re not in email land anymore, Toto!

Slack is a workplace communication/collaboration platform, and since its launch in 2014 has become the fastest growing business application ever. According to the San Francisco Business Times, Slack has ballooned to more than 8 million daily active users and about 3 million paid subscribers, making it one of the highest valued tech companies as revenue and user counts continue to climb.  It is expected to go public in Q2.

Slack and other file collaboration systems are changing the way people communicate at work. Given the integrated nature of Slack, its popularity, and its ability to become a centralized repository of company information, it may quickly overtake email and file servers as the go-to source for e-discovery.

It also presents a source of critical data that is more complicated than email to collect because it is not a singular repository like email, but instead may involve data connected to a variety of sources and applications. So, it’s crucial to understand how Slack data is preserved, collected, and reviewed.

By default, Slack is configured to retain all data permanently, but extracting and rendering the information can be challenging. One effective approach is to integrate with Slack’s Discovery API and Enterprise Grid. This process facilitates the extraction of metadata from entire Slack workspaces, including allowing for targeting of specific user accounts, private/public channels, and private multiparty chats.  Another approach is to utilize third-party legal hold applications to customize the retention capabilities beyond Slack’s configuration settings.

"It’s crucial to understand how Slack data is preserved, collected, and reviewed."

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